For our friends who know not what celeriac is, it is celery root. The bodacious celery-flavored ball of goodness at the base of fronds of celery leaves. Grown especially for this root ball, the root, stems and leaves are all fair game, if cream of celery soup IS the game. I pair these intense flavors with onion for mellowness, potato for body and Stilton cheese for fabulous umami.
This is a soup for your Thanksgiving or holiday table, a fine pairing with rich roasts or poultry.
I’d like to give a shout out to the late, great Buddy Martin, my ol’ friend at whose table I first enjoyed this masterpiece.
Celery Stilton Soup
Makes 3 quarts
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
2 leeks, both white and green parts, well cleaned and chopped
1 large celery root (celeriac), peeled and chopped
1 bunch celery, including leaves, cleaned and chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
6 cups rich chicken stock, degreased
½ cup cream
1 pound Stilton cheese
Salt and pepper
Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pot. Add onion, leek and celery root and celery (leaves and) all, salt and stir. Add potato, bay leaf, then stock. Cover and let simmer. Use an immersion blender to purée, leaving some small chunks for texture. Season to taste and add cream and cheese. Correct seasonings and serve piping hot in a pretty tureen.